Well, I picked up JLA Secret Files 2004 today. Not because I read JLA, or even Justice League Elite (I read the first two issues, but it hasn’t really grabbed me), but because I figured there’d be a good image to scan of the Flash’s alternate costume for JLE. (It’s odd to be using that abbreviation again.)
The main story, as it turned out, focused on the Flash dividing his time between the two teams as they work cases that turn out to be related. It’s an OK story, up until the end, which features the most boneheaded use of super-speed I’ve seen in a long time.
The two teams end up in major, world-shattering battles, one in Berlin and one in Greece, simultaneously. Naturally, the Flash has to be in both. So he’s running back and forth between the two battles (changing costumes along the way), going faster and faster…
It all comes down to a moment in which he gets stuck with two do-this-now-or-the-world-ends tasks that (of course) no one else can accomplish. And rather than doing one of them, then running a few thousand miles to do the other, he continues to switch between the two battles! On one page, he’s running toward villain A. On the next, he’s running toward villain B, thinking “I pray a little that my mind doesn’t split in two before this is over.” Then he’s running toward villain A again.
They didn’t actually alternate panels, but I think that was mainly a concession to the fact that they used a different artist for each team, and it’s easier to break down artwork by page than by panel. The inner monologue certainly implies that he’s still bouncing back and forth, and the following page shows the two teams — himself included — looking at each other through opposite sides of a portal. He then passes out, “exactly midway between teams.”
Now think about this for a moment. Even for the fastest man alive, it’s going to take less time to run twenty feet, grab something from Villain A, then run a thousand miles over to Villain B and grab something else than it will to run a foot toward villain A, run over to the other battle (changing his costume on the way) and run a foot toward Villain B, run back and run another foot toward Villain A, etc.
And in all that? Only one slightly-usable picture of the costume.